Nowhere But Up by Anna Rago

On top of a mountain near Zowe

July 5, 2018

Today was rainy and cloudy and cold. It is the dry season in Malawi so it almost never rains. It is very rare. After we ate breakfast, we went to staff fellowship where Sherard preached about the parable of the sower. Then we went to a health clinic in Zowe. Today, they were testing for HIV/AIDS and doing some simple check-ups. They were sadly all out of malaria test kits which meant that all the people who walked miles for testing were unable to be tested. They gave out medicine for those who needed it. The supplies were very limited there. Help is definitely needed. For a patient to be seen, it is K400 for adults and K200 for children under 5. The only other form of payment is corn. One of their exam rooms is completely filled with corn, so they were unable to do exams in there. We helped by organizing corn. We bought 8 giant sacks to fill up with corn. We found so much rotten corn and had to stop working. After the corn fiasco, we walked to the school farm. There, we watched the students harvest maize, helped them put in into baskets, and carried it to the back of a classroom. The basket was extremely heavy and we had to carry it pretty far. They will either sell it, or use it for the breakfast program. Next, we went to visit a local woman named Witness. On the way there, we made jump ropes out of grass and played with some school children. She had a beautiful home, but she was in poor condition. She is 75, has back problems, and can barely walk. She had a pretty bad harvest which means that her food will only last half the year. We are praying for her. She sleeps on a cot and her husband sleeps on the floor. Her son left for South Africa and hasn’t been back in a few years. It is as if he forgot all about his home, wife, and kids. Witness had some chickens, ducks, and pigs. Her pigs looked like baby piglets. She had an indoor kitchen which is rare for people in Malawi. Baby Ester was there today. I held her and she fell asleep right in my arms. We walked home and then I had the opportunity to climb a mountain. It was beautiful. Very rocky and filled with many unique trees. During their rainy season, monkeys will swing from tree to tree. We climbed straight up for the most part. You are supposed to walk around it like in a spiral so walking straight made it extremely difficult. When we got to the top, I was speechless. It was unbelievable. Words can’t even begin to describe it. I sat right near the edge, close my eyes, and sat under the sun. When I opened them, it was like I was one with the world. We took beautiful pictures. Then, we walked home and I helped cook dinner. America has a huge rep in Africa. Everyone wants to visit. I was talking to the staff at our house and we were comparing our cultures. This whole trip has been so much learning. I am filled with ideas and excitement!